As a part of a campaign to celebrate diversity, pride and equality in sports, the WNBA is hosting a series of Pride games. On June 20th, Phoenix Mercury hosted Tulsa Shock as part of their LGBT Pride Night. During the game, Mercury President Jason Rowley signed a UNITY Pledge created by the ONE Community, an LGBT web community. His signature represents the team's dedication to advancing workplace equality and equal treatment in hospitality for LGBT people in Arizona.
"I'm proud to be a part of the WNBA and NBA family that has chosen to embrace the LGBT community, not just for the 'out' athletes like me, but also the allies and fans who love them." said WNBA player Brittney Griner, a Phoenix Mercury player.
Just two days later, nationally televised game between Tulsa Shock and Chicago Sky became the second WNBA pride celebration. After the game, Chicago Sky hosted a networking event and panel discussion featuring GLAAD's Board of Directors member, and an ESPN.com national baseball editor, Christina Kahrl. Nike, as part of their #BETRUE campaign, donated #BETRUE t-shirts for the first 2500.
Up next: the New York Liberty will host Chicago Sky tonight, just two days before NYC Pride march. The Liberty will host an LGBT vendor expo prior to tonight's game. The expo serves as a way to highlight and acknowledge local organizations and companies that provide goods and services to the LGBT community.
The campaign is an important addition to the LGBT movement in sports. As leagues, teams and athletes voice their support for the LGBT community or come out themselves, more youth athletes will have a chance to play the sport they love in a more LGBT friendly environment.
"We're the pioneers. We're showing our league is strong and we're branching out into different communities. We need more LGBT role models," said WNBA player, Brittney Griner.
Don't miss out, start off pride weekend with NY Liberty!
The team hosts the Chicago Sky at Madison Square Garden at 7:30pm.
For tickets and more info click here.